Environment | Local

Rafters Return To Rogue After BLM Opens Lower Wild Section

OPB | Aug. 12, 2013 3 p.m. | Updated: July 20, 2014 10:09 a.m. | Medford, Oregon

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One of the iconic whitewater runs in the Northwest is back in business. The lower wild section of the Rogue River re-opened to rafts and kayaks Monday after thunderstorms dampened the Big Windy Fire.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

The air still smells a little smoky in the town of Merlin but the sky is blue.

Just a couple hours after the lower Rogue opened outfitter Brad Niva said he’d already sent 10 clients down the river.

Niva said rafters might spot the Big Windy still burning on the ridges above the Rogue.

“The river’s back open, but the fire’s not out, the fire’s diminished. There are still firefighters down there. And there will a helicopter here and there dipping out of the river,” Niva said.

And people think that’s pretty cool. That’s actually usually a highlight of their trip.”

The BLM is asking rafts to yield to the helicopters. And to avoid going ashore in places where the fire is still active. The hiking trails along the Rogue remain closed.

Find more on this and other environmental stories on EarthFix.

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